Scott Orlando…Twinsburg Du, Laurel Hill Tri, Black River Kayak

Twinsburg Duathlon

June 4th 2017.

Team Relay 3rd Place

Finish Time 1:06:01

This was my fourth year competing in this event but the first time competing as a relay team. This race is a 2 mile run, 10 mile bike and 2 mile run. Fellow Team ER member Carlo Buzzetta did the running legs while I completed the bike leg. The weather was in the 60’s with periodic light rain. Carlo completed the first running leg with a 7:32 mile pace and the second with a 7:49 mile pace. I completed the bike leg in a little slower time than I would had liked with just under an 18 mph pace. I believe the bike course had a few minor changes from the previous years. We finished third behind a couple of loaded teams. The winning relay team included a college track runner that averaged 5:32 mile pace for both run legs. NC Mulitsports always puts on a nice well organized race. Numbers were down a little this year but hopefully next year they will see better participation.

Laurel Hill Adventure Triathlon

Laurel Hill State Park

Somerset, PA

June 10th 2017

Finish Time: 1:58:01

Team Relay 3rd Place

This was my first time competing in the Laurel Hill Adventure Triathlon. The race consists of a 2 mile kayak, 8-12 mile mountain bike, and 5K trail run. Because of a continuing calf injury I was forced to compete in the relay. I completed the kayak and bike leg while a recent graduate and member of the Penn State Cross County team completed the running leg for me. This was my first time racing in a surf ski. Because I am still adjusting to the stability and learning to paddle the 19’2″ long boat I was a little tentative the first part of the kayak leg. The second mile I felt more confident and started making up ground while increasing speed. The mountain bike leg for the relay teams was an 8 mile course. It started with extremely hilly park roads that led to more hills on thick gravel trails, that turned into hilly mud covered trails finishing back on the roads into transition. I quickly realized that the street style tires on my 17 year old Gary Fisher would be no match for this course. 4 miles into the race while trying to climb a mud covered trail a branch lodged straight into my back derailleur. The branch bent and broke the derailleur. The bike leg became a nightmare after that. I had no gears and the chain came off about 15 times. Eventually I made it back to the roads where I managed to ride as long as I didn’t have to shift. My runner ended up completing the fasted run split in the entire race field, but it was not enough to make up for all of the time I lost with the damaged bike. We finished third overall in the relay 8 minutes behind the winners. Had my bike not been damaged I am certain we would have placed second and most likely first. Eddy’s was able to salvage the bike and replace the derailleur and derailleur hanger. This was a well organized race. Participation was a little lower than expected. The race director is looking to make some changes next year to increase participation. All proceeds of the race went to maintaining the park. I will certainly be back next year hopefully competing in the solo division and this time I will have a more appropriate bike for the course.

Black River Kayak-a-thon

Lorain, Ohio

June 24th

Finish Time: 1:04:48

3rd place 6 mile 14’5″ and longer division.

The Black River Kayak-a-thon is an event to support and showcase the Black River recovery efforts in Lorain. The event in it’s seventh year offers a 12 mile marathon, 6 mile race, and 4 mile float. I competed in the 6 mile 14″5″ and longer boat class. I chose to use my Stellar S16 Advantage. Rudders were not allowed in any races other than the marathon so I felt this was a good choice. There were lots of boat classes and even paddle board options. The race starts and finishes at the Lorain Warf. The river here is deep and wide. The 6 mile course winds its way up river, around a buoy 3 miles out, and finishes at the same place the race started. The paddle out challenges with cross currents that really pull your boat off line if you weren’t careful. The return paddle which I thought would be much easier because it was down river was actually more difficult due to the heavy head winds that picked up. I was 4 minutes slower in the down river section because of the winds. The guy that finished fourth behind me had the exact same boat that I did so it was fun to race against him on even terms. He stayed with me for about the first mile 2 miles but then dropped way back. The river is full of wildlife including otters, blue heron, and bald eagles. The race was partially funded by a grant and they spared no expense thanks to sponsors on prizes. Everyone received participation t-shirts and safety whistles. Winners in all divisions received medals and various selections of kayak gear. Two kayaks were even raffled off at the end. This is a great event and I think with a few changes will grow to be a local favorite.